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Anthony Rapp Takes The Stand In His Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit Against Kevin Spacey

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Actor Anthony Rapp began testifying today in his sexual misconduct lawsuit against Kevin Spacey, with initial questioning covering only his upbringing in the Chicago suburbs before the court took a lunch recess.

Rapp’s testimony after lunch is expected to explore much more explosive territory, with the actor having accused Spacey of fondling him and trapping him inside a New York apartment in 1986, when Rapp was 14 years old. After going public with his claims in October 2017, Rapp filed his $40 million suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Spacey is also expected to testify in his own defense. Rapp, the younger brother of playwright and producer Adam Rapp, is a longtime presence on Broadway who starred in Rent and more recently appeared on Star Trek: Discovery.

The allegations by Rapp were among several that made Spacey one of the #MeToo movement’s early figures of ignominy, though the legal process is still taking its course. He faces trial in the UK for alleged sexual assault, with that case set for June 2023 and he is on the hook for $31 million awarded to House of Cards producers Media Rights Capital because the claims hastened the end of the show and were deemed a breach of his acting and producing agreements.

Spacey is expected to testify in his own defense in the NYC trial.

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Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has run a tight ship since the trial started yesterday, repeatedly urging attorneys from both sides to skip extraneous or duplicative material. He also interrupted one witness, Christopher Denny, as he was trying to elaborate on an answer. “It isn’t an essay question,” the judge scolded him, urging instead to stick to “yes” or “no.”

Rapp detailed a working-class childhood in Joliet, IL, where he was raised solely by his mother, a nurse who divorced his father when Rapp was 2. He described with a nostalgic smile spending time with his friends, a “crew of weirdo nerds” who played Dungeons & Dragons and created their own magazines. He began acting in plays and musicals in the seventh grade, playing the lead in a production of Oliver.

Three witnesses were featured in the morning proceedings before Rapp took the stand. Among them was Andy Holtzman, who described an alleged assault by Spacey in 1981, which occurred when Holtzman was working for the Public Theatre’s film program and Spacey was acting in the Public-backed summer production of Shakespeare’s Henry the IV Part I.

Holtzman repeated allegations he first made in 2017, in a Facebook message visible to his connections on the social network. He claimed that Spacey entered an office where Holtzman was working and approached him without saying a word. Wearing “very tight jeans,” he had a “clear, large erection,” Holtzman said. Spacey then “lifted me up by my crotch,” set him on a desk and rubbed his body against Holtzman’s.

With Judge Kaplan sustaining many of the defense team’s objections, lawyers for Spacey sought to poke holes in Holtzman’s account, including his claim that he immediately recognized the actor from program materials. Given he was a struggling, unknown actor in 1981, the defense noted, that was unlikely. When shown pages from the summer 1981 program for Henry IV, Holtzman conceded Spacey’s picture was not included.

Spacey’s side also asked Holtzman why he hadn’t made his allegations public in 1981, especially given his testimony that Public Theatre chief Joseph Papp, a titan of New York culture and society, treated him like a son. “I kept it very much to myself for a long time, trying to process it,” Holtzman explained. “As Spacey’s star rose, it kept coming back to my face,” with the earthquake of the #MeToo movement providing further encouragement to finally make his account known.

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Dominic Patten contributed to this report.



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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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